On Sunday, August 23, 2009, at the conclusion of the 12:30 P.M. Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA, the Polish Apostolate Pride of Polonia Award was presented to Edward Pinkowski by Bishop Stanislaw Jan Dziuba and Msgr. Anthony Czarnecki, National Chairman of the Polish Apostolate Committee.
The Pride of Polonia Award was established in 1992 by the Executive Board of the Polish Apostolate to recognize individuals who make unique contributions to the Polish people and are involved in philanthropic activites. The first recipient was John Cardinal Krol.
Edward Pinkowski, a Polonian historian, author and journalist, was born on August 12, 1916, to Polish immigrant parents in Holyoke, MA. When he was 14 years old, the family moved to the rugged coal fields of Pennsylvania, where his father and grandfather previously worked in mines in the Mount Carmel area. There he began his writing career while still in high school. During World War II, he was a writer in the U.S. Navy and rose to the rank of Chief Specialist.
In 1967, he received the Kosciuszko Sesquicentennial Medal in Toronto from the Polish American Historical Association (PAHA) for locating General Kosciuszko’s last residence in America, leading to its designation as a national monument, and placing an historical marker at 3rd and Pine Streets in Philadelphia. In 1976, the house-museum opened as the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial under the auspices of the National Park Service.
For four years he was president of the Spring Garden Civic Association in Philadelphia, the first lay chairman of the nominating committee and vice president of PAHA, member of the Philadelphia Historical Commission from 1969 to 1985, chairman of the Ethnic Council, vice president of the Philadelphia 1976 Bicentennial Corporation and the oldest surviving male founder of the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, an affiliate of the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC), and the person who created the name of that local organization.
Edward Pinkowski was responsible for erecting a monument on Anthony Sadowski’s grave 300 years after his birth along with a roadside marker in Douglassville, PA. In 1996, he proved that General Pulaski’s remains were buried in a brick vault under the monument in Savannah and was recognized by the mayor of Savannah with a key to the city for literally rescuing Pulaski’s remains. Over the years he devoted countless hours to research on Kosciuszko and Pulaski, not to mention hundreds of other figures, and is the author of several books and many articles.
Among the numerous awards he has received are: the Mieczyslaw Haiman Medal from PAHA for “outstanding contribution in the field of Polish American studies”, Distinguished Service Award from ACPC for his lifetime of contributions to research in Polish American history, Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit in 2001 awarded by the President of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Medal.
He lived in Philadelphia for most of his life with his wife Connie (Rosiello) before moving to Florida in 1998. He has two sons, Jack and Jim, born in the nation’s capital during the war.